It seems to me that every year I find myself watching television alone in the living room of a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a stranger’s house-warming party. House-warming parties are especially endearing to me as I feel as though I can always return, no matter how many years later, and claim: “I remember the first party you had here, stranger.”
I went to a house-warming, wine-tasting party last night. It was quite disappointing, not because I could not find a television to watch, but because the house was still being renovated. The bathroom in the family room did not work properly, forcing partygoers to hike the flight of stairs to the master bedroom, or to the backyard behind the recycle bins, in order to maintain stability. The kitchen, however majestic, lacked a working refrigerator, meaning all beverages-and foods- were served from the mega cooler in the backyard behind the recycle bins. The front door was permanently locked due to a super-glue gun mishap. Lastly, construction on the guest room in the backyard by the pool had just started. I don’t drink wine.
The house was beautiful, but I hope to receive an invitation to their next party, when all the incidentals are resolved after receiving the requisite permits from the building department, and I can congratulate them on their new surroundings.
Did anyone else watch last night’s NCAA play-in games? Anyone else get the feeling that our beloved, single-elimination, win-or-go-home immediately tournament is undergoing an enormous remodeling undertaking, awaiting approval from the powers that be in order to proceed, the final result of which will see a 128-team, 7-round heavyweight rendezvous? Or worse, did anyone else think to themselves: “First Four? What are they talking about? The tournament doesn’t even start until Thursday.”?
Inter Milan defeated Bayern Munich in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 knockout stage yesterday in Germany by a final count of 3-2. The result netted a 3-3 aggregate tie for these two goliaths. Inter will advance to the quarterfinals based on the away goal rule which states, in the result of an aggregate tie, the team which scored the most away goals advances.
I am a huge proponent of the structure of world football’s several leagues and tournaments and Cups. Mainly because there is a uniqueness to their madness. While I believe there should be a playoff, or postseason, for the biggest leagues-English, Spanish, Italian, and German-I appreciate that they play their regular-season games and the leader at the end is the champion. The season is a race, every game as important as the next.
The away goal rule, however unique it may be, has worn out its welcome. It is difficult enough to score a goal in soccer no matter where you are, goals should not carry more weight based on what arena they were scored in, especially in a tournament as prestigious as the Champions League.
There, I said it.